An integrated approach could prove more effective for controlling emissions.
Sam Napolitano is director of the EPA Clean Air Markets Division. Melanie LaCount is senior advisor and communications specialist, and David Risley is an environmental protection specialist with the division.
At this juncture, it is no longer clear exactly what requirements are going to govern further major emission reductions in the electric power sector. EPA promulgated the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) and Clean Air Visibility Rule (CAVR) in the first half of 2005. The years leading up to these regulations were marked by interplay between two major control paradigms: the traditional, problem-oriented one-issue-at-a-time approach and the more holistic sector-based, multi-pollutant approach. EPA effectively has been on both tracks for the last fourteen years, pursuing problem-oriented solutions while applying lessons learned to broader efforts. With the passage of the CAIR/CAMR/CAVR, EPA was able to achieve a significant first: coordinated multi-pollutant regulations. However, the first two of these rules were derailed when the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated both CAIR and CAMR earlier this year, throwing the immediate future of power-sector emission reductions into question.